Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy.

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Now that we’ve established that many state lawmakers suffer from fiscal myopia, are they doing any envisioning – however fuzzy the view – toward Louisiana’s future? Representative Steve Carter, a Baton Rouge Republican, says it’s not the first time he’s been asked that question.


Louisiana Oil&Gas Association

Perhaps lawmakers avoid getting their fiscal myopia checked because they’re waiting for a bonus to pay for the eye exam -- like New Iberia Representative Blake Miguez, who is expecting the oil and gas industry to boom again.


LA DOTD

“I want to say a few words to those who actively worked in opposition to raising the gas tax – ever: this nonsense has hurt the state,” Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter said when withdrawing his gasoline tax bill from consideration this past spring, effectively calling some of his fellow lawmakers shortsighted.

The tax revenue would have helped with the $13-billion backlog of deferred highway and bridge maintenance.


California Coastal Commission

“I see a deficit of just over $1.5-billion, correct? That's the fiscal cliff we keep talking about?” New Orleans Representative Gary Carter asked, as the latest tally of next July's fall off in state revenue was presented to the Joint Budget Committee last week.

Yet despite all the warning signs, some lawmakers don't see the drop as being all that steep.


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Having worn glasses since I was six years old, I'm very familiar with myopia, which is also known as nearsightedness. Lately it seems some lawmakers have it, too, when it comes to Louisiana's fiscal issues.


Kirsten Roed

It began one year ago tonight.

“I don’t ever remember going an entire day where it didn’t at least stop raining for a little while,” state climatologist Barry Keim said, wonderingly. “It rained all night long. It rained every minute of the day. We had 32 straight continuous hours of rainfall.”

Hardest hit was the Livingston Parish town of Watson, home to state Representative Valarie Hodges.

Sue Lincoln

“Come July 1, we are all tumbling off the cliff together,” Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne warned the Baton Rouge Rotary Club.


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This past spring, there was heated legislative debate over a bill to raise probation and parole fees from $67 to $100 dollars a month. That was for supervision of people who’d been convicted of crimes. But now a federal lawsuit says people who’ve merely been charged with crimes are being required to pay nearly four times that amount -- if their case lands before one state district judge in Baton Rouge.


Sue Lincoln

“We’re probably in one of the safest times in our state’s history right now, primarily because both the Louisiana Legislature and the U.S. Congress are out of session,” Congressman Garret Graves began, as he spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.

“I also want to thank the Governor and the legislature, because I think for the first time in a long time they actually made Congress appear functional,” he added.

rochester.edu

With just over nine weeks to go till the state Treasurer election, it’s been very quiet. What’s going on? Primarily fundraising.


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